The British Treasury has revealed the overall costs so far to replace the original one-pound coins which were replaced with a newer, high-tech circulation pound coin. The cost to the British taxpayer has thus reached more than £5,500,000 ($7,100,000), initially to collect the more than 1.5 billion pieces which were to be melted down to produce the newer coins. It has been revealed that the older versions, in circulation since 1983, have been crushed into useless pieces and then sent off premises to be melted down. This process cost £4,600,000. The cost to transport the round pound coins amounted to £865,000, which were also sorted between genuine and counterfeit pieces that could not be melted down, and it was this reason why the first pound coins were replaced.
The one-pound coin first entered circulation on the 21st April 1983, in an effort to replace the one-pound banknote, which became costly for the treasury to print, as the note’s average life-span was about 10 months. The coin, minted in a golden alloy with a diameter of 23.43
The treasury and Royal Mint estimated that there were at least 50 million counterfeit coins in circulation since its introduction and up to January 2017. The newer versions were re-designed as a 12-sided coin and to be the most secure coin in the world, made as a bi-metallic piece with a hologram-like image, micro-lettering, and another secret security feature.
The Royal Mint began production of the new coins in 2016 and was introduced into circulation on the 28th March 2017. A new reverse design was chosen and is the work of the then-15-year-old David Pearce from Walsall, West Midlands, which included floral representations of the four constituent entities of the United Kingdom. The obverse included the fifth effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II, which was designed by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark and was first introduced onto British circulation and commemorative coinage in March 2015. The treasury removed the coin’s legal tender status on the 16th October 2017, but has